‘Knuckleheads #4:’ Comic Book Review

The fourth outing of Knuckleheads is what I call the “morning after” issue.  The morning after you fight a giant monster, throw up and pass out, get thrown up on, and get covered in giant monster goo – so, your average night out.  The Knuckleheads creative team knocks it out of the park again, continuing a hilarious story, building on their entertaining, enjoyable, and relatable characters, and just making me laugh . . . a lot . . . and out loud.  The dialogue and visual jokes are whip-smart, and add in a dash, or a maybe a splash, of scatological humor and you end up with a kind of comedy that is not being done in any other comics.  Or at least any other comics that I know of or am reading.  Yes, that is a blanket statement on top of a blanket statement, but it’s always warmer under two blankets.

The dialogue between Trev, Lance, Pizza Guy, and Hot Drunk English Chick (Spoiler Alert: we learn their real names in this issue.) is excellently conversational without being too wordy, which is a feat in itself. It is never boring, because no matter the situation, the characters are interesting and fun.  There is a familiarity to the dialogue and character interactions that reminds me of hanging out and talking with my friends, though, unfortunately, none of my friends are hot, drunk English chicks.  The jokes are spot-on and more than just one-liners.  Instead, they actually have a through line, and the issue has multiple hysterical set-ups and pay-offs, both verbal and visual.  Writer Brian Winkeler infuses the story with just the right amount of pop culture referencing to be sincere and relevant to the way people indeed talk and interact, and he pulls some simply bizarre ideas out of his head, and I love all of it.  The story never slips into absurdity, Robert Wilson IV’s funny, yet grounded, art making sure of that, and while the story appears off the cuff, it all works in the reality of the world that Winkeler and Wilson IV have created.  Jordan Boyd’s colors are bright and varied, breathing an additional level of playfulness and excitement into the art, and Thomas Mauer’s lettering moves through the issue with ease and is distinctive and energetic at all the right times, perfectly relaying the character’s voices.

Knuckleheads’ fourth issue, just like the previous three issues, flows smoothly and is so much flat-out fun that you fly through it and find yourself bummed when you reach the end, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give.  Published digitally through ComiXology by MonkeyBrain Comics, there is a bevy of bonus content at the end of the issue, from a letters page to a few early black-and-white pages from the Knuckleheads vault featuring one of my favorite late-night talk show hosts, to a fantastic and completely true-to-the-series pin-up.  I can’t wait for more issues, but, luckily, I don’t have to wait for more to continue spreading the word on this clever, quick, gross, and side-splittingly original series, because it is already delivering all of that in spades.  So, seriously, don’t be a knucklehead and read Knuckleheads today.  I mean it.  Start reading it right now.  You can thank me later.    

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